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Nomadism: A forgotten paradigm.

Abstract : In this chapter, we wish to explore the timless conflict between nomadic and sedentary people using sociological tools. This starts with the observation that Western political philosophy, and with it, the understanding of democracy, social contract, and society, are essentially sedentary visions. However, since at least the fall of Roman Empire, sedentary people have always lived alongside nomadic people, often in a conflictual relationship. Globalization gives nomads an opportunity to play a major historical role once again, but this reality is obsucred as theories rooted in the dominant paradigms cannot conceive of this reality, as demonstrated by Monsutti's work with Homo-Itinerans, Peraldi's description of the Suitcase Trader, and Tarrius work on Transmigrants... Although research on migration abounds, for some, it does so without addressing the issues that are crucial to understanding nomadism in its modern form, those that describe not simply the displacement but the reasons behind it: social conditions, trade, war, work, mobility, mobilization... Our hypothesis is that this is also true for the theme of the nomad, which is rejected by sedendary populations. Like colonized peoples, Third World inhabitants or minorities, immigrants, and women, the nomad is considered not only illegitimate, but, as with colonized peoples, he is thought of at best as a quirk, and at worst as a manifestation of barbarity. No person is more fully an actor in the globalized world than the nomad. We will first return to the origins of this "nomadic" paradigm by discussing the key terms that characterize it, such as "family," "clan," and "tribe," but above all by demonstrating the incomprehension and invisibility of this paradigm. We will then consider the nomads by analyzing the difficulties they encounter with what Weber (1922) calls the "rational-legal order." Finally, we will attempt to reflect on this modern nomadism and thus on a new epistemology of research that is adapted to the subject studied.
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Contributor : Delphine Mercier <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, December 29, 2020 - 2:06:25 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, December 30, 2020 - 7:31:08 AM

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Delphine Mercier, Pierre Tripier. Nomadism: A forgotten paradigm.. Aline Averbough; Nejma Goutas; Sophie Mery. Nomad Lives. From Prehistoric times to the present day., Publications Scientifiques du Museum, 2021. ⟨halshs-02990121⟩

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